We do a lot to our engagement rings—after all, they’re something that goes through each and every part of our day (every day!) with us. And it all has an effect: Everything from applying lotion to scrubbing dishes can dull the sparkle of engagement rings, causing an otherwise crystal-clear diamond or gemstone to appear cloudy.
“The reality is, if you wear your rings every day, you absolutely need to clean them,” says Ryan Elbaz, founder of Majesty Diamonds.
Keeping your ring clean, however, isn’t just about keeping it sparkly. You’re going to want to take a minute while you clean to make sure the ring’s still looking as perfect as the day you got it.
“[Cleaning] also gives you a way to inspect your ring on a regular basis,” explains Stephanie Maslow-Blackman, owner of Metalicious. When it’s sparkling, you’ll be better able to inspect its stones and prongs, looking for a loosening setting or chips in your stone’s surface. And if you do find something, you’ll be able to take it to your jeweler before it’s too late.
Our experts recommend cleaning your engagement ring every couple weeks—or more, if you’re wearing it during household chores and strenuous activities, such as outdoor sports. Simply put: “The more of this you do, the more often you should clean your ring,” says Elbaz. And no, there’s no such thing as cleaning it too much.
That being said, when you clean it, avoid using harsh chemicals (think bleach, chlorine, and acetone) and commercial silver and gold cleaners whenever possible. You don’t need to buy some super-fancy product to get the results you need: Our experts suggest good ol’ soap and warm water to get your ring shining again.
Fill a small bowl with warm water and a squeeze of dishwashing soap, then drop your ring into the dish for a 15-minute soak. “This will loosen any dirt, lotion, or dried soap that has settled into any crevices or behind your gemstone,” says Maslow-Blackman. Once it’s had its bath, take your ring out for a rinse: Run it under a steady stream of warm water—making sure your sink drain is stopped—and turn it around so the water can run over the top and bottom of the ring.
If you want a “slightly deeper, but still natural” clean, Vanessa Stofenmacher, co-founder and creative director of fine jewelry company Vrai & Oro, recommends soaking your engagement ring in witch hazel or white vinegar “for about five minutes.” (She uses half a cup of white vinegar, FYI.)
If you spot any lasting residue, take a soft-bristled or old toothbrush and gently scrub around the stone, taking care to hit the bottom, where the light shines through and really gives your gem its sparkle.